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Tree Work at Thorpe Meadows

At the Trust we are embarking on a major tree planting programme to replace a number of White Willow trees alongside the rowing course at Thorpe Meadows.  In total, at least 53  trees will be planted to replace the Willows which were planted 35 years ago and have now reached the end of their natural lives.

As our Landscape Manager Clare Freeman points out  "it is always a shame  to have to fell trees but it is also a normal part of good tree management.  We will maintain a screen along the Nene Parkway and a wind break for the rowing course as these trees are such an important landscape feature.  The branches from the felled trees will all be chipped on site and the resulting mulch will be used at Thorpe Meadows."

Traditionally, the timber from White Willows is used to make cricket bats. A specialist company, Wrights and Sons, will be felling and removing the trunks so that the timber can be put to good use.

Oliver Wright, fourth generation of his family in the business explained:  "There are 24 grades of wood for a cricket bat and we cannot tell until the tree is felled what grades occur.  Gradings range from the top quality bats that will be used by the professional cricket players to the lowest quality bats nicknamed 'firewood bats' .

Oliver also hopes to be able to give Nene Park Trust several cricket bats so that a local club can have their very own home-grown bat.

A replacement avenue of willows will be planted  in February.  For the first few years, these willows will be small, so to prevent too much other plant growth around them and to help them establish a large area of chippings will be placed around each one .

The Rowing Club based at Thorpe Meadows have been kept informed of the works and John Canton, Chairman of Peterborough City Rowing Club says:  "These works will not affect us significantly as there is an area of adjacent woodland providing shelter from the prevailing wind.  We shall be working with Nene Park Trust to plant additional trees and shrubs at the southern end of the course where we start our races".

In addition to the tree works at Thorpe Meadows there are about 20 maturing willow trees in Orton Mere Wood which will also need to be felled.  The chippings generated will be spread in the wood.   Public access to both Thorpe Meadows and Orton Mere will be maintained throughout the works but visitors should follow any safety notices and diversions put into place during the felling operation.

Thorpe Wood Willows.jpg
White Willows at Thorpe Meadows